Web Accessibility: The Reason Custom Web Development Will Always Be Relevant

Web Accessibility: The Reason Custom Web Development Will Always Be Relevant

The Internet has improved the lives of millions of people. That’s not an exaggeration. It has promoted easy access to information, enhanced long-distance communication, making families and friends feel close even when they are miles apart, simplified the purchasing of products with a click, and generated countless hours of entertainment. But this is not the case for everyone. There is a group of people for whom things have not become easier since the advent of the internet. Including those with some form of visual impairment, epilepsy, or limited motor skills, many websites are not prepared to provide them with the same opportunities as the rest of the population. Whether due to a lack of knowledge or a lack of interest in making a website accessible to all, the reality is that options are limited for those who are in unequal conditions. It seems almost obligatory for all brands to have web accessibility nowadays. Not only because it is the right thing to do, but because having it means improving the quality of the site and reaching a larger audience. Sometimes putting oneself in someone else’s shoes can be complicated. Not due to a lack of empathy, but because at times, we may not consider the experience someone may have if we have never undergone what they are going through. However, we have all been in situations where we could not engage in an activity because we did not have a 100% real comprehension of the circumstances. In fact, according to information shared by the World Bank, over 15% of the world’s population suffers from some form of disability. That means over 1 billion people. Not all disabilities may be visible or manifest very noticeably, but they can all affect how people navigate through life.   Custom Web Development is Always Relevant

Why is Web Accessibility Important?

  Starting from the premise that everyone should have the same opportunities seems logical. Sadly, this is not often the case in the real world. In fact, it is likely that you or someone close to you will suffer from an impairment at some point, rendering a lot of the internet unusable for you.  For example, Epilepsy affects over 1% of the US population. An individual may or may not have been born with the affliction, however it impacts the lives of over 4 million Americans in the current age.   Everything points to the fact that this could, and should, change in the digital world, considering the number of companies and brands seeking to improve using Custom Web Development in their website. Regardless of the cognitive or physical abilities an individual may be struggling with, accessibility will enable a similar experience with others, getting the same benefits. This not only has a positive ethical aspect; it can also be beneficial in ways some might not know are related. While web accessibility is designed for a particular group, the reality is that everyone can benefit from it. Whether you find yourself in a less-than-ideal environment or your attention is divided among various topics, this concept could lend you a helping hand. Imagine having the misfortune of no longer being able to see colors. While it would certainly be possible to access some websites and surf the internet, there is a big chance that some information will be lost to you. Due to the misuse of colors and contrasts, you might be unable to comprehend the content you desire. This is just one of the simplest and most fixable flows of a poorly designed web.   Understanding the possibilities that are for improvement in regards to web accessibility will elevate the brand. Moreover, this type of customization is also beneficial for companies seeking better results through Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engines like Google appreciate accessibility as it provides them with a better understanding of a website’s content.  

How to Improve Web Accessibility?

Having a basic understanding of why web accessibility is important, it’s time to think about how to implement it, having advice from the guidance on web accessibility. It’s important to know that a simple code edit, or a selection of understandable images won’t be enough. To achieve real accessibility, teamwork between designers and developers is essential. Contrast, size, and structure are some of the principles for making text understandable. Any of them that is not well-designed could negatively impact user experiences. While websites heavily rely on their graphic representation, we know it’s not the only way to navigate them. Whether people have visual impairments or limited mobility preventing them from using a mouse, they should have the option to navigate solely with the keyboard. Facilitating the user experience also means providing simple-to-use video controls and buttons. Avoiding excessive styling of these attributes can lead to higher usability. It’s not about placing obstacles in the user’s path but ensuring that their journey through the site is as comfortable as possible. When it comes to coding, the good implementation of HTML could make a big difference. The structure of content with headings, paragraphs, and lists enhances accessibility. It is crucial to avoid bad markup habits, such as using <div> to create headings, as this negatively impacts the experience of screen readers.  Looking at CSS, recognized style conventions should be followed for abbreviations and links. Plus, when applying styles to form elements they shouldn’t deviate too much from visual expectations. The problem with JavaScript arises when there is excessive use of it to generate HTML or CSS. It is important to use the appropriate technology for each task and not depend solely on JavaScript for all content.

Custom Web Development is Always Relevant

Web Accessibility Certification

To confirm that all the effort made to improve is correct, there are certifications that measure how much effort has been put into making a website accessible. Beyond being able to inform the public about the work done, having certifications will endorse all the commitment put into improvement, providing a sense of tranquility and transparency. These certifications usually rely on international standards, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Having them builds trust among users who seek something as simple as navigating without issues. Furthermore, obtaining them can be crucial for differentiating from the competition. Seeing two companies offering the same services or products, in similar quality, can make anyone hesitate about which one to choose. In this scenario, details can make the difference, and having certifications is a very interesting detail. To get them, a team of experts in the field will conduct a comprehensive audit, inspecting visual and code details. No one is infallible, so it’s possible to find flaws in some areas, but there is a period before the evaluation to fix them and improve the accessibility. Certainly, having the validation of experts in the field is important and can be very helpful. Nevertheless, as in many other areas of life, the experience of real users can be the first and most important evaluation. No one knows better than the customer what they need to stay and become a loyal client.  

Accessibility Web Design

Reaching the final result of an accessible website is not precisely the easiest task. It requires constant evaluation in which both automatic and manual tests have their place. And although it was mentioned that having individuals who require web accessibility in the testing phase is important, it’s also crucial that they be part of the team working on the design. The best results are obtained through constant feedback. Communication must be clear and accurate so that those who need to make changes can implement them without delays. The same can be said for finding solutions. The best ideas can come from various different sources. Even when the idea is not the best option or even the correct one, it can trigger someone else to propose an alternative  

Building together an Inclusive Future

Accessibility is an aspect that can no longer be ignored in the design and development of websites. Its implementation goes beyond the mere inclusion of features for users with disabilities; it’s about laying the foundation for a better society, where everyone starts with the possibility of achieving the best objectives. In our current world, where companies like CodingIT specialize in providing solutions for a wide variety of services, it would be a waste to miss the opportunity to work together to boost your virtual presence. From a professional and objective information-focused perspective, integrating web accessibility is not only the right choice but an intelligent strategy to achieve online success. So, don’t miss the opportunity to get to know CodingIT and tell us about your projects.

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